Home For Sale: Your Old Tweets

For Sale: Your Old Tweets

Twitter is the latest social network to turn a buck with content you created.

The company sold two years worth of old tweets to Datasift, a marketing data firm. Datasift will make the tweets and other data, including the locations of where people were when they used Twitter, available to its clients. Datasift is the first of what is believed to be more than 1,000 companies on a waiting list to purchase the data.

We’ve asked for Twitter to comment and will update as soon as we hear back.

By now, most people know that social networks generally claim ownership of content and other data users post using their services. Graham Cluley from security firm Sophos still expects some users to be shocked and, more than likely, outraged.

“You thought that tweets you posted months ago had vanished, or were simply hidden away so deeply and awkwardly on the Twitter website that they would be too difficult to uncover? Think again,” Cluley told The Daily Mail.

The news may be doubly upsetting to Twitter users who bemoan the fact that they typically can’t access tweets that are more than a few days old. But Twitter is not the first to quietly sell off the data treasure trove to marketers: other social networks, including Facebook, have done the same thing.

“If you aren’t comfortable with firms being able to mine your past tweets – and potentially gather information about you – you may wish to delete your old postings,” Clueley said.

Datasift has released a video plugging its services and showing how it will slice and dice the millions of tweets. Advertisers seeking to access the tweets now owned by Datasift will be charged at least $1,000. Twitter had previously made old tweets available to advertisers, but only seven days worth.

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